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Arhoolie Foundation Receives Grant to Digitize Harry Oster Field Recordings — 13 Comments

  1. blows my mind that you continue to discover wonderful, historic music from the past…

  2. Please give my best to Tom Diamant, who I’m sure is involved in this effort up to his neck. When Tom and I were at University of Illinois in 1964-65, Archie Green had Harry bring Robert Pete Williams to CHampaign. Tom and I both got to see him then. It took me years to understand what it was I was looking at, but I think Tom got it right away.

  3. Firstly, I’d like to echo another contributor’s comments. “Country Negro Jam Sessions” was one of the first recordings of authentic Black music I heard, many years ago, and I have been an ardent Blues fan, and performer, ever since. The digital preservation project is wonderful news, but without trying to sound too negative, with the recent dizzying progress and changes in technology let’s hope the present digital system is not eventually replaced by another, rendering the newly preserved treasures as obsolete as 78 RPM records! Fingers crossed!

  4. Just want to note that NARAS and the Grammy Foundation have been supporting the Arhoolie Foundation for many years. They have helped fund the digitizing of the Frontera Collection, the digitizing of the Chris Strachwitz interviews, and now the digitizing of the Oster Collection. They also acknowledged Arhoolie Foundation’s founder Chris Strachwitz by awarding him their Trustees Award in 2016.

  5. Thank you Arhoolie and Chris. Wonderful news! And thank you to the Grammy Foundation. Finally some of that money I spent for decades to be a NARAS member will be used for something other than an annual unwatchable TV extravaganza that concentrates on pyrotechics, lip-synching and dancing, while ignoring 98% of the music the Grammy’s supposedly cover.

  6. to this day when asked what is my favorite album i say ” country negro jam sessions.” it is also my favorite album cover- in its original format.

    doctor oster’s contribution to field recording rivals the lomax’s. “i have to paint my face”, robert pete williams, butch cage and willie thomas, “barber shop rhythm” and on and on……

    i can’t wait to hear what the vault will bring. thank you mrs oster, chris, smithsonian and ms thompson for this precious gift to the world.

  7. I was familiar with Harry Oster’s work, but I didn’t know there was so much of it still unpublished. It’s exciting to think there will be new material available from these great departed artists. Thank you for doing what you do! I’ll look forward to hearing what comes out of it.


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